'Night Piece' is one of seven poems from The Darkening Ecliptic that was cited during the Angry Penguins obscenity trial. The trial was conducted in Adelaide in September 1944. Michael Heyward (The Ern Malley Affair, 1993, p.93) suggests that McAuley and Stewart decided to write 'Night Piece' twice. 'It is possible that they preselected its imagery, agreed on the number of lines, and then wrote the two versions ['Night Piece' and 'Night Piece : Alternate Version'] individually.' Each poem has three stanzas. In 'Night Piece' the configuration of lines per stanza is 5/4/4; in 'Night Piece : Alternate Version', the configuration is 4/4/5.